Problem Reduction Search

Problem reduction search is a basic problem-solving technique of AI. It involves reducing a problem to a set of easier subproblems whose solutions, if found, can be combined to form a solution to the hard problem. Such a search is easily written as a recursive program in Lisp:

  1. If the given problem is a primitive subproblem (one that can be solved by a known technique), return the solution to it.

  2. Otherwise, try breaking the given problem into sets of simpler subproblems, and call the program recursively to try to solve the subproblems .

  3. If a set of subproblems is found such that all the subproblems can be solved, combine the subproblem solutions in an appropriate way to form the solution to the current problem.

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